While moving to Norway nearly a decade and a half ago, artist Ayman Alazraq accidentally came across 5 VHS cassettes. These contained more than 14 hours of audio-visual material of a people’s tribunal gathered in Oslo in 1982 addressing the tragic events at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, September 1982. As a young student, he was trying to comprehend why this archive had been left behind and not entered institutional repositories. As copies were left to gather dust, Alazraq chose to call them, in the first instance, “The Lost Tapes", presenting them along with related documents for the first time to the public.
The exhibition sheds light on the significance of individual efforts in preserving historical narratives. It explores the intersection of liberation movements, art, and culture in shaping such archives. The display serves as a platform for dialogue, reflection, and mourning ongoing struggles, emphasizing the role of art in negotiation and healing, even in times of seemingly insurmountable violence.
Ayman presented his initial ideas for the exhibition at the INSPIRE seminar Parallel histories of Palestine: Art, archives and solidarity.
More information about the exhibition can be found here. Participants can watch the exhibition, and there will be opportunities for individual and/or collective conversations with Ayman.